Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Leon Bannister poses with a pint of beer at the Bricklayers Arms, in Grays, Essex January 4, 2011. British pubgoers could soon ditch their traditional pint in favour of a "schooner", a smaller measure of beer used in Australia, under government changes announced on Tuesday. REUTERS/Paul Hackett (BRITAIN - Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS)

PAUL HACKETT/Reuters

When you walk into a licensed establishment and order a draft beer, do you ask for a "pint" or do you ask for a pint*?

Most people, we suspect, ask for a "pint" – that is, a vaguely measured large glass of beer that is reassuringly close enough in size to all the other large glasses of beer they've ever ordered. But that's no longer possible. From now on, you will be ordering a pint*, thanks to toughened regulations that came into force last month under the Fairness at the Pumps Act .

The pumps referred to are the ones in gas stations, and the act is a Harper government bill that gives Industry Canada more powers to inspect more retail measurement devices more frequently. It also raises fines for keepers of imprecise gas pumps, sellers of undersize cords of firewood, butchers who put their thumb on the scale – and bartenders who don't serve a pint* when someone asks for a "pint."

Story continues below advertisement

No one is going to argue with that, obviously. A "pint" is a pint*. When people find out that they have the government's backing to insist on a pint*, they're going to enforce the law. Who doesn't want a few extra ounces of beer in their glass, even if bars have to raise their prices to provide them and bartenders are doomed to listen to pint-happy customers explain for the one-thousandth time that they know their federal drinking rights?

Most bars, of course, diligently and proudly ensure there is a pint* of beer in a "pint." The most common offence is to deprive the drinker of a precise pint* in order to make room for the drink's foamy head – hardly a felonious act. We advise bartenders to keep an eye out for customers bearing measuring cups, and to strike the word "pint" from their vocabularies and chalk boards. If someone orders a "pint," ask them if they are referring to the measurement found in the same law that regulates the size of a bushel, a square rod and an arpent, or if they just want a large glass of beer.

*20 fluid ounces, with a 0.5 fl oz error or margin, foam not included, as per regulations deriving from Weights and Measures Act (RS 1985)

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies